Writer’s block

It’s a painful process, I’ll have you know. And not imaginary, as I had scoffed for most of my life.

It’s not unlike the loss of a loved one, except that that person is you. You’ve lost an integral part of your own constitution; the so-called “basic structure” of your being has been violated, so to say (The Supreme Court of India does not approve). It’s not pretty and its nigh impossible to break out of.  I currently have 6 unfinished drafts in my WordPress, all waiting to be attended to, to be polished off and released into the the world, but that’s not happening any time soon because not only is what I’ve produced during this creative-intellectual drought utter nonsense, it also reeks of a desperation to break free. That being said, the scariest moment is when I did manage to produce something and when I read it top to bottom I realized how bad it is and all I wanted to do is cry for the loss of my awesome genius.

A writer’s block manifests most commonly in the construction of a sentence. I’m painfully aware of the readers’ expectation. My choice of words, the style, the placement of adjectives (standard or awry for that little touch) must not reflect that I am currently incapable of being myself. I must be opinionated, my language must be grandiloquent- the style bordering on histrionic but not quite,  must pepper the sentences with references and sarcasm and must end with an ultimate witticism that will blow the reader away. That’s a LOT of pressure for a keyboard that has lain idle for a while. 

We’ll start with what a writer’s block looks like. To best explain the process, I will employ the 5 stages of grief model as theorized by Kübler-Ross. Mind you, what comes next is all painfully true. I’m suffering from writer’s block, for God’s sake. Fiction is beyond me at the moment.

Stage I: Denial
– You haven’t written in 6 months. Can you get your act together and write something?
– That’s not true! I wrote a funny status on Facebook and got 65 likes. Boo yaah. Oh look! 67 Likes now. Boo yaah.

Stage II: Anger
* typing *
* backspace backspace backspace backspace backspace backspace backspace *
* typing *
* backspace backspace backspace backspace backspace backspace backspace *
– The T on this keyboard sticks. I cannot work like this. I’m on holiday LET ME BE.

Stage III: Bargaining
– I’ll write something if you buy me a new keyboard with a non-sticky T. I am also willing to accept a MacBook.

Stage IV: Depression
* staring at drafts with lots of irregular T’s *
– This is hopeless.

Stage V: Acceptance
– I’m suffering from writer’s block
My head is blank around the clock
Everything fails to inspire
Half-baked ideas quickly expire
As at the screen I sit and gawk.

Inching out of this is not easy. I started with the limerick- which is the ridiculously obvious choice and also kind of the best way to begin considering its a form of written expression they literally have a formula for. From thereon its just been spending a lot of time just thinking, picking up any person, object or situation and applying the WWDHW (What Would Devika Have Written). Its all pitiful and the end products are a pale mockery of their refined predecessors, but its a start. It’s a slow process and not made for impatient and impassioned beings. If the sight of lots of unfinished drafts drives you crazy, you’re in for a bad time.

It’s painful, like I said.

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